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CIII

CHILDHOOD

I cannot reach it; and my striving eye

Dazzles at it, as at eternity.

Were now that Chronicle alive,

Those white102102white, innocent designs which children drive103103drive, pursue,

And the thoughts of each harmless hour,

With their content, too, in my power,

Quickly would I make my path even,

And by mere playing go to Heaven.

Dear, harmless age! the short, swift span

Where weeping Virtue parts with man;

Where love without lust dwells, and bends

What way we please without self-ends.

An age of mysteries! which he

Must live twice104104See S. John; iii, 3 that would God's face see;

Which angels guard, and with it play;--

Angels! which foul men drive away.

How do I study now, and scan

Thee more than e'er I studied man,

And only see through a long night

Thy edges and Thy bordering light!

O for Thy centre and mid-day!

For sure that is the narrow way.105105Apparently, O that I knew how to carry childhood through later life


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